Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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The Wrecking Crew
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Release Date:
March 27. 2015

 

Unbroken
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Home
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
March 27, 2015

 

Into the Woods
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material
Release Date:
December 25, 2014

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Not rated
Release Date:
March 20, 2015

 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Release Date:
December 19, 2014

The Final Season

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language, thematic elements and some teen smoking.
Movie Release Date:October 12, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 8, 2008

From the opening shots of the American flag fluttering gracefully from a barn in the Iowa morning mist, to the closing scenes of cheering crowds at the baseball field, The Final Season is one great big corn-fed cliche.

The movie tells the story of the small town of Norway, Iowa (population 586) which, despite its small size, consistently manages to field a winning baseball team due to pluck, hard work and good Iowa values. As one crusty old timer puts it, “In Norway, our baseball tradition is as rich as the Iowa soil.” The school is going to be closed as a result of some nasty legal tricks and budget cuts by people far away who don’t appreciate the special character of a small town. So this is to be the last hurrah for the Norway Tigers.

Despite its small size, Norway is large enough to contain every stereotype known to man: the tough and disrespectful city kid whose life is transformed when he is exposed to good country values; the sharp city slickers who want to shut down Norway’s school (including the beautiful young professional woman in a business suit who succumbs to the homespun charm of the team coach); the father who made the crucial play in a ball game many years ago, watching his son step up to the plate in the exact same situation; the aging coach who hands over his team to his young and unsteady replacement, and many more. Yes, you’ll meet them all here in Norway.

The plot of “The Final Season” does not have much to commend it; this same story has been told better hundreds of times before. The script is often unbearably hackneyed. (“Every player who ever wore a Norway uniform is going out there with you today…”) The characters are so stereotyped that there is not much room for quality acting. Norway is a Nuance-free Zone.

But what this movie does have is montages of healthy, graceful teenage boys leaping, running, catching, and playing under the big Iowa sky. It shows them working as a team. It has baseball. And sometimes, that can be enough.


Parents should know that there is brief strong language, smoking, and a drug reference, all disapproved of.

Families who see this movie should talk about the role of sports in community-building.


Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “The Sandlot.”

Mythos from Joseph Campbell

posted by Nell Minow
B+

Joseph Campbell believed there was “one great story of mankind” and he spent his life collecting the great myths and parables of world cultures and religions and showing us the connections between them. His work has influenced everyone from Hollywood screenwriters (George Lucas cites him as the inspiration for the “Star Wars” movies) to abstract expressionist artists, diplomats and politicians, and, through his appearances on PBS, millions of people around the world. The Mythos series, the culmination of his work on the way that myths reveal and guide us, is inspiring and illuminating.campbell.jpg

Joseph Campbell: Mythos I: The Shaping of Our Mythic Tradition — an exploration of the psychology, history and biology of myth, and an introduction to the Western mythos.

Joseph Campbell: Mythos II: The Shaping of the Eastern Tradition –an introduction to the great mythic traditions of South and East Asia

Remembering Charlton Heston

posted by Nell Minow

Ben-Hur_chariot_race.jpgCharlton Heston, who died this morning at age 84, had the screen presence for larger than life, heroic roles, and often appeared in films with religious themes. He will be best remembered for his Oscar-winning performance as Ben-Hur and for appearing as Moses in The Ten Commandments. He also played John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told. Heston created audio recordings of the Bible and provided voice talent for a series of animated Bible stories for children.

I am especially fond of his performance in the brilliant Touch of Evil as a policeman who lives on the border, literally and metaphorically, and in a rare romantic comedy, “The Private War of Major Benson.” Whether he was leading a circus (The Greatest Show on Earth) or a stranded team of astronauts (Planet of the Apes) or even trying to survive as the last man on earth (The Omega Man), his conviction and commitment made him the essence of a movie star.

List: Gilmore’s Best Baseball Films

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Hoppy Gillmore of Fargo’s Froggy 99.9 has posted his list of the all-time best baseball movies, one for each inning. Here’s his list, with some comments from me in italics.
9. The Bad News Bears
Anyone who played Little League ball has lived this movie. Thanks Coach Flieth for spending your summers on the diamond with us!
I know people love this one, but it is not on my list. I’m all for anti-hero movies that subvert the usual underdog formulas, but hearing kids use bad language and seeing adults misbehave in front of them just isn’t that funny.
8. The Sandlot
If you ever played neighborhood ball as a kid you’ve lived this movie as well. For me it was the empty lot next to Paul and Mitch Heinen’s house in Hillsboro.
I love this movie — it’s my DVD pick of the week!
7. A League of Their Own
“There’s no crying in baseball!” I never knew about this piece of baseball history until I saw the movie.
There may be no crying in baseball (one of my favorite lines ever), but I cry in the last scene of this movie every time I watch. Ignore the sibling rivalry theme and enjoy the love of the game and the brilliant performances from everyone — Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Bill Pullman, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell.
6. For Love of the Game
This one’s good for women too because there’s a love story built into the story of baseball. Even my wife will sit down and watch this one.
Agreed!
5. Major League
“Juuuuust a bit outside!” According to Chris Coste’s new book, The 33-Year-Old Rookie (http://www.chriscoste.com/) this could be a very accurate portrayal of minor league ball.
Silly fun, and I love it when they play “Wild Thing.” (But stay away from the sequel.)
4. 61*
Yeah, I’m a homer. Billy Crystal’s tribute to who will ALWAYS be the single-season home run king.
Terrific movie.
3. The Natural
One of the first baseball movies I remember watching. Who wouldn’t want to run the bases under a shower of sparks from the home run ball you hit that went into the lights?
Love this one, too. Parental note: some mature material.
2. Field of Dreams
“If you build it, they will come.” The father-son playing catch at the end brings back memories of my dad and I doing the same thing whenever he’d grill. In-between flipping burgers we’d play catch.
This is a movie that makes grown men cry. Touching and inspiring.
1. Bull Durham
Kevin Costner’s “Crash Davis” spews the best baseball philosophy around. He’s the Yoda of baseball.
One of the great, great grown-up love stories ever put on film — love of baseball as well as romantic love. And I get a kick out of knowing that this is where Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins became a real-life couple!

Previous Posts

Trailer: Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in "Pixels," a Comedy About the Attack of the Aliens Modeled on Classic Video Games
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0CYMC5b8KLE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:58am Mar. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions
Cheers to the understandably anonymous "Miss L," an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses to be hot (no matter what

posted 3:57:54pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Paper Towns with Nat Wolff
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w4olpTxktM4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:09am Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

The Wrecking Crew
Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you've argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumen

posted 9:48:37pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Home
"Home" is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form.

posted 5:59:44pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »


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